Isaiah #adventbookclub

By Moser Productions LLC (Into the Darkness feature film) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

Isaiah 9:2-7 (CEV)

War Is Over

Those who walked in the dark
have seen a bright light.
And it shines upon everyone
who lives in the land
of darkest shadows.
Our Lord, you have made
your nation stronger.
Because of you, its people
are glad and celebrate
like workers at harvest time
or like soldiers dividing up
what they have taken.

You have broken the power
of those who abused
and enslaved your people.
You have rescued them
just as you saved your people
from Midian.
The boots of marching warriors
and the blood-stained uniforms
have been fed to flames
and eaten by fire.

A Child Has Been Born

A child has been born for us.
We have been given a son
who will be our ruler.
His names will be
Wonderful Advisor
and Mighty God,
Eternal Father
and Prince of Peace.
His power will never end;
peace will last forever.
He will rule David’s kingdom
and make it grow strong.
He will always rule
with honesty and justice.
The Lord All-Powerful
will make certain
that all of this is done.

We stumbled and floundered, we scrabbled and groped our way along.  How could we see, for there was no light?  Not where we were.  Something had happened, something was missing.  Someone had stifled all the light and left us.

Darkness all around.  Real darkness. Total black.  How can I get out of this?  We will rescue me?  Lead me?  Help me?  Guide me?  Who can bring a light, shine it on my path, that I may see?

I can’t get myself out of here.  Where would I start?

Someone, please, come and save me.

 Lord,
you know the depth of the darkness,
the place of despair,
where there is no hope
and no way out.

Reach into my darkness I pray.

Bring your light,
that I may be able to see a way out,
your way,
guiding me,
onwards,
with you.


Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page

Mary iii #adventbookclub

Luke 1:26-38 (CEV)

An Angel Tells about the Birth of Jesus

26 One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee 27 with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. 28 The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. 30 Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, 31 and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. 33 He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”

38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her. 

Stephen Cottrell ends this section with the phrase,

I am the Lord’s Lantern

What a challenge!

Lord,
can I be your lantern,
carrying your life,
your light in me?

Can I shine in dark places,
not with my brilliance,
but with your hope,
life,
peace
and love?

As I encounter you anew
this Advent and Christmas
may I allow you to light up my life
and go
where you take me
to shine brightly
for you.


Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page

Mary ii #adventbookclub

Luke 1:26-38 (CEV)

An Angel Tells about the Birth of Jesus

26 One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee 27 with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. 28 The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. 30 Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, 31 and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. 33 He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”

38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.

Oh Lord,
how often do I say that can’t happen?
Not here,
not now,
not in me.

Yet you do.

You take my questions,
my fears,
my uncertainties
– and they become your possibilities.

May I not put barriers
and stumbling blocks
in the way of your work.

But say
“yes,
here I am,
let’s do it.”

Lord,
give me courage,
faith and hope
in and through you. 


Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page